Site Meter

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sometimes Not Even The Sunshine Helps

This experience of travelling S.America is so different to my time in Thailand for several reasons. I guess the most significant is that in Thailand, because I was working, I was settled somewhere. I was also there with one of my best friends and there were several other teachers who became good friends. I had a chance to get to know and become close with some of the local Thai people because I wasn't moving on every few days. I had a support network. I was never too far from people who cared about me and who I could have a drink and share a laugh with.

Now that I'm travelling, and especially because I'm doing it alone, I feel disjointed. In one way it's liberating and in another it's isolating. I've had company but not with real friends, people who really know me. Normally I don't mind sitting in a bar on my own but now, sometimes, I feel like a poor, sad loser with no friends.

Another reason why this time is different is because when I went to Thailand I had just come out of a long, arduous relationship that was bad for my health both physically and emotionally. Thailand was my retreat from that. But this time I have left the person that I love for, what's starting to feel like, an eternity. While I admire us both, me for not letting anything get in the way of living my dream, and my man for giving me the freedom and trust to do what I want to do, it's hard being away from him for so long. It's only been a month and a half but the days are so long now that I'm not working. And even though we live in an age of modern technology I can't help but feel very far away. Mobile phones have not been working in my favour and Skype, though brilliant in theory, has proved to be very frustrating. Technology and I have never really had a harmonious relationship.

Another difference is the fact that I'm nothing more than a tourist, doing pretty much the same thing as every other tourist. Yes, it's an experience that's unique to me but in Thailand I was really immersed in the culture. I was part of their community and treated with respect and admiration. Over here I'm just another white face. Yes, I am welcomed but no, I'm not repsected or that well thought of. I know that in regards to this I should just get over myself but it is purely a symptom of having spent a bit too much time on my own recently, with too much time to think. I always said that the thing I was most worried about was being lonely and I was reassured by many that that wouldn't be the case. Now that it is I can't help but wonder what I'm doing wrong. It's not that I'm turning down opportunites of company or that potential company is shunning me, I just seem to have been moving in the wrong circles over the past week. I haven't seen anyone I could hang out with or, if I have, it's clear that they are part of their own wee niche that doesn't seem very welcoming.

I also know that this is probably a temporary thing and I'm sure that I will fall in with some people eventually but, until then, the days will seem long and dull living in my own head. Surely a dog for companionship would make all the doubt and lonliness disappear?


Hails said...

Aw Hannah. I started to feel the same way when I was travelling alone in China, but I know that missing the one you love makes solo travelling much harder. I don't really have any advice, other than to try to get company wherever you can. It's not quite the same as having a steady group of friends, but have you looked at They tend to have groups in most cities, and the ones I've met up with have been incredibly friendly - often if you just post a message to the group saying you're in town and would love some company, they'll organise a night out with all the local members, or a few people will invite you somewhere fun. I know it's not quite what you want, but it does help!

Other than that, make the most of the time you do spend alone, to do exactly what YOU want to do! Become an artist or a poet, sitting on a park bench or in a café with your notebook or sketchbook. And don't let the blues get in the way of your experience. Just make them a part of it, and keep moving.

Alternatively, what are the chances of your man joining you?! ;)

Nelly said...

I hope you're feeling better now m'dear.

hootchinhannah said...

Hails, thanks for your advice. Funnily enough I met up with some people while crossing the border and a couple of them told me what a great time they's had couchsurfing. I knew when I wrote that post that the feeling wouldn't be forever. I'm at the beach now with 2 lovely English girls and feeling a lot more positive. I'm always too impatient and as soon as I voice my impatience, that's when things seem to go my way!

And cheers mum, I am xxx

hootchinhannah said...

Oh and I wish my man could come out here but we are meeting in Madrid in June when I'm coming back so that's something to look forward to ;)

Jakes said...

Aye, i knew it wouldn't take ye too long to meet people. Bein' alone's bound te tough on ye, but remember it'll only be temporary, you're not the sort of person that'll be lonely for too long, you're too friendly. That couchsurfin' sounds like a good idea if your stuck for company too. It's not the easiest bein' here and not havin' you either, even with my people around, and it does seem like a lifetime away now 'til june, but it'll be okay if ye keep yoursel' busy and enjoy yoursel', i'm tryin' to anyway, not that easy over here though. Love ye darlin' and can't wait for up te be together again. Xx

hootchinhannah said...

Hey pet, meeting those girls was exactly what the doctor ordered. Even though I'd had company in Mexico is was nearly always with men. I'm a girl's girl really. Still missing ye loads darling but at least I have something to take my mind off it. I'll speak to you soon honey bun xxx

Musings of Mel said...

Hello my little love,

Hope you are still having fun and goodo on meeting the nice English ladies. A dog would be perfect - I soooooo wish I could take one around Oz with me.

I also heard a few peole say that the couchsurfing thing is good.

Love you long time.


hootchinhannah said...

Hey Mels,

Yeh, I should look into the couchsurfing thing. I still think it's easier meeting people staying in hostels though. I could totally picture you sailing through Oz with a dog!!

Will chat to you soon my love xxx

Musings of Mel said...

Aw man - a dog in the front seat of the car would be just perfect. I might koala-nap a koala. If only I could teach it how to roll...hhhmmm...

Where are you and whats happening?! It's all a go-go here. Flatmate Rob is moving back to London in a few weeks so I'm driving back to Ireland with all my stuff mid April, then back the next weekend for another weekend! Then I am gatecrashing my friend Claires place and staying with her until I leave at the end of June. Phew! So I'll be in Ireland from 21-27 June (back to Edinburgh late on 27th). I SO SO hope I will see you before I go - I think I will. Have been busy organising travel insurance and accommodation and all that. It's fun though! I love planning trips.

Lots of love from me.